It’s Christmas time and you know what that means – cramming in as many viewings of festive films as is humanly possible!

I’ve found Sky’s NOW TV Movies service to be a great source for this sort of thing, not only because of the great free trial ( 🙂 ) but also because they have a great selection, from stone cold classics to hidden gems that are well worth seeking out.

If you’re stuck for Christmas movies to watch and you wanna’ give the service a go, below I’ve rustled up a little top 5 list:

Elf (2003)

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For years there had been many Christmas movies that got firmly into the festive spirit but then along came this absolute gem that features the festive spirit in human form. Will Ferrell gives one of his most memorable and hilarious performances as Buddy, a man raised in the company of elves who discovers his real father (James Caan) lives in New York and so sets off on adventure to reunite with him, causing havoc wherever he goes. Cheesy though it may be, it’s nevertheless an eminently quotable, joyously fun celebration of all things Christmas that’s simply a must-watch this time of year.

Bad Santa (2003)

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If Elf is the absolute personification of Christmas then Bad Santa is the poisonous antidote for anyone who hates this season and everything for which it stands. Billy Bob Thornton is the hilarious obnoxious, foul-mouthed, child-hating Grinch who only chooses to dress up as a mall Santa in December so he can rob the stores at night with the help of his faithful dwarf “elf” sidekick Marcus (the incomparable Tony Cox). It’s not one for the easily offended but for those with a very dark, cynical sense of humour it’s an absolute hoot.

Die Hard (1988)

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“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…”

It doesn’t get much more classic than this action movie milestone starring Bruce Willis as NYPD Detective John McClane who finds himself up against a smart group of terrorists, led by the ruthless Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), at a Christmas Eve party in the Nakatomi Plaza building. Great set-pieces that are grounded in at least some sort of reality, a terrific hero in John McClane, some insanely quotable dialogue and an all-time great villain add to make for arguably the single greatest action movie ever made. Modern day action movies – the increasingly superfluous and ridiculous follow-ups included – could go back and learn a thing or two from this.

Trading Places (1983)

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This sublime lifestyle-trading comedy from director John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers) centres on a wily street con artist (Eddie Murphy) and a snobbish business investor (Dan Aykroyd) who suddenly find themselves living each other’s lifestyles as part of a cynical bet between two callous millionaires. This was one of the films that helped make Eddie Murphy a megastar (it was his second feature after 48 Hrs.) and he’s one top form as the quick-witted, sarcastic Billy Ray Valentine. Aykroyd is equally great as the down-on-his luck Louis Winthorpe III in a film that explores racial and class stereotypes while never forgetting its primary purpose of making you laugh.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

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Christmas movies don’t always have to be warm, fuzzy and family-friendly as this jet black and hilarious crime comedy from the one and only Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) goes to show. A pre-Iron Man/mega fame Robert Downey Jr. stars as Harry Lockhart, a thief-turned-actor who gets involved in all sorts of murder and kidnapping hijinks alongside private detective “Gay Perry” (Val Kilmer) in the not-so-jolly land of Hollywood. Like Bad Santa, this isn’t for the easily offended but it’s got an absolutely wonderful script chalk full of some of the best, most self-aware dialogue (often spoken directly to the audience via RDJ’s snarky narration) so far this century, poking fun at everything from movie star vanity to the tropes of Hollywood movies themselves.

That’s it for our list. What are your favourite Christmas movies? Remember, if you fancy watching any of the movies above make sure to sign up for NOW TV Movies!

Note: This was a paid sponsored post but was entirely written by me and of my own opinion.